Setting up a Character 101

I originally didn’t have too many plans to vastly alter the 11 base classes listed in D&D 3.5, but I now I feel some rules are in need of simplification and more player creativity should be expressed in character creation and progression. I’ve kept a chunk of the fundamentals from the 3.5 handbook, but I want to change a lot of things.

The most important detail, which I will mention first, is that I ask the players to help contribute to constructing the game; specifically, I’d like to solidify and balance the rules and work on building unique and fun mechanics for characters. What’s really missing right now is the strong distinction between classes. It’s naturally part of D&D for players to mold a character’s personality to his/her liking, so I figured why not apply the same thinking to defining the rules and abilities as well?

As per my request, I would enjoy seeing each player being responsible for creating abilities, spells etc. for their own character. So long as you check with the DM to make sure things are balanced and somewhat fitting to the class (e.g. if a Barbarian decided he could use a teleport spell, I would deem that unfair) anything can go. If you’re too busy, or simply aren’t very interested in this aspect of the game, I have no problems making things up for you as we go along.

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Races

Since I haven’t really focused on races too much, I’ll just say that any typical medieval/J.R.R. Tolkien-esque fantasy races are available to choose from. Keep your choices from small to large-sized races. No dragons please.

Each player may design up to 2 racial characteristics or abilities based on their race/origin. Be realistic here. Don’t give your Half-Giant a +15 racial bonus to sneaking, or your desert nomad a +5 skill bonus to swimming.

Any race/class combination is alright with me, but some might be a little hard to explain within the context of the world. Just keep that in mind when you role play your character.

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Ability Scores

We’ll be using the 32 point buy system.

Point value for individual abilitity scores

  • -1 – 0 points
  • 0 – 2 points
  • +1 – 4 points
  • +2 – 6 points
  • +3 – 10 points
  • +4 – 16 points

Every level you may increase any base stat (Strength, Wisdom etc.) by one point. Remember to adjust skills, initiative etc. accordingly.

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Skill Points

All level 1 characters receive 4 points to invest into any of the 6 simple skill categories or their 2 trained skill categories. It is possible to use 1 point to specialize into very specific skills that might fall under a certain category (e.g. lock-picking under thievery) for a +4 bonus in using that skill.

Each level up provides them with 3 additional skill points to invest.

Specific skills can only be specialized once for the +4 bonus.

The maximum any person may have invested into a single category is equal to the player’s level + 4 (exclude any miscellaneous bonuses).

Read Skills for more detail.

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Health Points

Based on your class, your HP will be….

Starting HP
Barbarian = 30 + Constitution
Fighter, Paladin, Ranger = 28 + Constitution
Monk, Rogue, Cleric = 26 + Constitution
Bard, Druid = 24 + Constitution
Sorcerer, Wizard = 22 + Constitution
Level Up HP Gain
Barbarian, Paladin, Fighter, Ranger = 3d2 + 1/2 Constitution
 Sorcerer, Wizard, Monk, Bard, Rogue, Druid, Cleric = 2d2 + 1/2 Constitution
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Endurance Points

All classes (with the exception of Wizards and Sorcerers) are able to perform Combat Techniques throughout the course of battle. Each combat technique has a certain cost or value attributed to them known as the card’s Endurance Cost or EC. Before each round begins, players may select as many combat techniques to use this round so long as the total EC value of all the combat techniques is equal to or less than their character’s Endurance.

Below is the formula for calculating a character’s Endurance, each class’ base Endurance values and the maximum number of Combat Techniques a class may have in a deck at any point.

Endurance Formulas
Endurance = Class Base + Constitution + Level
Class Class Base Combat Tech/Deck
Barbarian 8 6
Bard 3 5
Cleric 1 3
Druid 1 3
Fighter 5 8
Monk 5 10
Paladin 4 6
Ranger 4 6
Rogue 5 8
Sorcerer 0 0
Wizard 0 0

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Class Talents, Combat Techniques and Spells

Refer to the Class Rules page for information on how many combat techniques and spells each class learns.

Further more, at every level, players may add 2 unique abilities or characteristics to their character that should help identify them in their class and distinguish them apart from other players. Generally these translate into either a passive and continuous benefit to the character or a very powerful spell or combat technique known as a Daily that can be used infrequently, requiring long periods of rest before it can be performed again. Some examples of the former would be being able to manifest a pet familiar to forever keep you company, or solidifying your training with swords thus making you likely to strike with greater precision when using them. An example of the latter might be performing a ritual to restore life to the long deceased.

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Attack Scores and Defense Scores

Each character has 6 ability scores, each being able to act as an attack score or defense score. Attack scores represent a character’s aptitude in striking a blow or landing a spell. Defense scores represent the skill in evading or resisting an attack. A good number of offensive combat techniques and spells will require a player to make an attack score roll against another target’s defense score. Each score is modified by one of the 6 ability modifies (Strength/Dex/Int etc.) plus any miscellaneous modifiers that might apply.

Attack and Defense Score Formulas

The general formula for any attack score is:

Attack Score = 1d20 + Ability Score + Misc.

The general formula for any defense score is:

Defense Score = 10 + Ability Score + Misc.
Attack Type Ability Modifier
Melee Strength
Ranged Dexterity
Destructive Magic Intelligence
Manipulative Magic Wisdom
Protective Magic Charisma

Setting up a Character 101

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